Epidemiology: Prevention Research

Long-Term Health Effects of Domestic Violence

Key Investigators: Robert S. Thompson, M.D., and Frederick Rivara, M.D., M.P.H.
Group Health Cooperative, Center for Health Studies, and University of Washington Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology
Funding Source: Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

Domestic violence (DV) is a major societal problem, affecting up to 25 percent of women in their lifetimes, yet knowledge of the impact of DV on health-care utilization and on health status is only rudimentary. This study will assess the impact of DV over an 11-year period on health-care utilization and cost for adult women and their children. Female victims of DV and their children will be compared to a group of non-victims to determine the effect of DV on physical and mental health status, social functioning, and health-risk profiles. This information will be important in convincing health care plans to institute programs for abused women.